A week afer rewatching Barry Lyndon, I found some similarities in the many, many perfectly framed shots and lush cinematography (different styles of course - esp the emotional) - The craftsmanship was exceptional, behind and in front of the camera. And yet ... I still wasn't moved. It's a fine film. I won't defend it tho.
Despite good performances and some good moments here and there (obviously the Russian Roulette sequences), the film has major structural and transitional issues; we see too much of certain things like the wedding and not enough of character development. It never quite figured out what it wanted to to be about so you get three moves in one, which I guess works out okay. The acting is great of course, but Cimino sucks.
A shallow criticism, but that never ending fucking wedding is what has always kept me from 5 stars. Yes, it illustrates the drastic difference between normal life and horrific war/post-war, while establishing who these characters are, but it always seems like an unnecessary amount of time driving home that point. The movie is near perfect after that.